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i5 3470 won't run at a higher clockspeed than 1.6 GHZ. How can I run the processor at it's full potential?

Hello and thanks for reading this! My i5 3470 works as in that I can boot into windows perfectly with it. But when I try to stress test it the multiplier stays at 16.0 . The processor runs at 1.6ghz basically. Task Manager also shows only 49% cpu usage, although I have prime95 running with a worker for each thread.

My system:
Processor: i5 3470 (1.6 ghz to 3.2ghz for 4 cores, up to 3.6ghz for one core)
Motherboard: Z77X-D3H Revision: 1.1
Storage drive: m500 960 GB
GPU: Intel HD graphics for now...
Memory: 4x4GB 1600mhz ram, don't know the brands
CPU cooler: 212 EVO

The problem:
My Intel core i5 3470 won't go higher than 1.6ghz, even though it should boost up to 3.2 ghz for 4 cores when stressed with a program such as prime95, which it doesn't.

How I found out about this problem:
I just reinstalled my CPU cooler; a 212 EVO, with new thermal paste as well. I wanted to check if my temperatures were alright so I launched up Prime95, Core temp, CPU-Z and Task manager, the software I normally use for stress testing. My temperatures were around 35 degrees Celsius, with an ambient temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. So very good actually. But CPU usage was just 49% according to Task Manager, 100% according to Core Temp 1.1 . Task Manager was correct. The CPU was running at 1.6ghz (1601.35 Mhz to be precise) and that's around 49% of the maximum clock speed for 4 cores which is 3.2GHZ with an unoverclocked i5 3470.

What I've tried to fix this problem(A lot):
-I've tried a lot of different BIOS settings
-I've resetted my bios settings back to factory settings in the BIOS itself
-I've resetted my bios settings with the jumper (which I didn't have, so I used a screwdriver. That worked)
-I tried stress testing with a different program than Prime95; I tried Heavyload. No difference unfortunately.
-I've updated my motherboard BIOS to the latest bios (beta version 18i) with Qflash
-I've ran Intel processor diagnostic tool. The i5 passed the test, even though it clearly shouldn't pass as it can't clock itself higher than 1.6GHZ (the lowest settings by the way)
-I've updated my drivers using Driver Booster 3.0
-I've updated my motherboard and processor driver from the manufacturers website, to check if that would make any difference (it didn't BTW)
-I've scanned my PC on malware with malwarebyes; PC is malware free
-I've disconnected and reconnected every cable from my PC
-Making sure maximum processor state is 100% in advanced power management in windows

Extra information:
The motherboard worked perfectly yesterday with my i7 3770 at 4.3GHZ (a slight overclock). So the motherboard shouldn't be the problem. The i5 3470 worked perfectly with an ASUS B75M-A motherboard too, so the processor shouldn't be the problem as well. And if the processor was the problem it would be weird that it works perfectly at low clock speeds. I think the problem is in the software and not the hardware. When I enter the BIOS it also says: "maximum boost clock 16", even though I selected 38-40 in the settings. I also tried it with the default clockspeeds with a maximum multiplier of 32-36. See the following pictures (sorry for bad quality, I can't take a screenshot in the BIOS): https://imageshack.com/a/BntM/1

Thanks a lot. I really can use some help with this, as I have no idea what to do now... I'm also very frustrated because I've been trying to fix this issue for about 4 hours now.

EDIT: It's 02:30 where I live so I'm going to sleep. Tomorrow I'll try your suggestions.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 3470 run higher clockspeed ghz run processor full potential
  1. Wow you got a good one! I don't know perhaps clear the CMOS, reset the BIOS to default and try again, but I think you may have listed that as done already. Definitely going to watch this threat and see what works for you.

    Perhaps sacrifice a virgin at the next Solstice...
  2. Did you check the "Maximum CPU State" option in advanced power management options for your active power profile? Setting that to 50% or lower will lock your CPU to ~1.5GHz.
  3. InvalidError said:
    Did you check the "Maximum CPU State" option in advanced power management options for your active power profile? Setting that to 50% or lower will lock your CPU to ~1.5GHz.

    I don't remember seeing that option. Will boot into BIOS now and check if that settins is at 50% for some reason.
  4. Budgetguy said:
    InvalidError said:
    Did you check the "Maximum CPU State" option in advanced power management options for your active power profile? Setting that to 50% or lower will lock your CPU to ~1.5GHz.

    I don't remember seeing that option. Will boot into BIOS now and check if that settins is at 50% for some reason.


    what he is referring to is not in your bios, it is in the windows power options.
  5. I think that is in Windows not the BIOS what do you say Invalid?
  6. InvalidError said:
    Did you check the "Maximum CPU State" option in advanced power management options for your active power profile? Setting that to 50% or lower will lock your CPU to ~1.5GHz.


    nikoli707 said:
    Budgetguy said:
    InvalidError said:
    Did you check the "Maximum CPU State" option in advanced power management options for your active power profile? Setting that to 50% or lower will lock your CPU to ~1.5GHz.

    I don't remember seeing that option. Will boot into BIOS now and check if that settins is at 50% for some reason.


    what he is referring to is not in your bios, it is in the windows power options.

    Yes, you are indeed correct. I just checked and the maximum processor state is 100%. So no luck again... I got confused by the way because in my BIOS (or UEFI to be precise) there is a tab called: "Power management" and it is in the advanced part of the UEFI.
  7. Yup, I meant in Windows. I have artificially limited the speed of my CPU a few times out of curiosity to see if it had any impact on actual power usage (CPU stuck at ~1.5GHz vs peaking at 3.2-3.5MHz) only to find that it had no obvious impact under typical desktop use.
  8. InvalidError said:
    Yup, I meant in Windows. I have artificially limited the speed of my CPU a few times out of curiosity to see if it had any impact on actual power usage (CPU stuck at ~1.5GHz vs peaking at 3.2-3.5MHz) only to find that it had no obvious impact under typical desktop use.

    Yes if you want your CPU to use less power you can undervolt it. But nowadays CPU's don't use much power anyways. Does anybody have any idea what I can do with my i5?
  9. littleleo said:
    Wow you got a good one! I don't know perhaps clear the CMOS, reset the BIOS to default and try again, but I think you may have listed that as done already. Definitely going to watch this threat and see what works for you.

    Perhaps sacrifice a virgin at the next Solstice...


    At least this comment made me laugh...
  10. Budgetguy said:
    littleleo said:
    Wow you got a good one! I don't know perhaps clear the CMOS, reset the BIOS to default and try again, but I think you may have listed that as done already. Definitely going to watch this threat and see what works for you.

    Perhaps sacrifice a virgin at the next Solstice...


    At least this comment made me laugh...


    Cool, I really thought Invalid had it for you, perhaps someone else will pop in with a suggestion. Have you tried contacting the Gigabyte tech support?
  11. Thermal throttling (overheating) and multiplier limits (either BIOS or through OS power management) are the only two things I can think of that would mess with clock frequencies
  12. I'm getting really angry now, probably should go to sleep. It's 02:37 now and I started trying to fix this problem at 18:00 .. I've tried the following things:
    Test the i5 3470 with another motherboard. The i5 worked perfectly on the other motherboard.
    Test an G540 on the gogabyte z77x-d3h motherboard. The g540 ran at 2.5 ghz, like it should. Probably because the G540 doesn't have boost.
    Repair an old bios speaker (had to solder it)
    Reinstall the i5 3470 with the z77x-d3h to see if that would make any difference
    I replaced the CMOS battery
    I checked all cpu's and motherboards for bent pins with a magnifying glass (no bent pins).

    The only two things that I can think of are:
    -testing booting with a dedicated GPU (which I don't have right now, I'm waiting for custom RX480's)
    -Testing if the Z77X-D3H would work with another cpu that has a variable multiplier, in my case i7 2600k. I will test that when my CPU arrives, probably in 2 days. I think this is the root of the problem because in the BIOS info it says: "maximum turbo ratio 16", even though I selected 36. So those settings are not applied for some reason I think.
    -retrying several bios settings. This might fix it as well.

    Do you guys have any ideas?
  13. Sounds like the BIOS is not identifying the chip correctly. If you have the latest BIOS for the motherboard installed, one long shot would be to downgrade the BIOS.
  14. InvalidError said:
    Sounds like the BIOS is not identifying the chip correctly. If you have the latest BIOS for the motherboard installed, one long shot would be to downgrade the BIOS.

    Thanks for the tip. It didn't work however. I tried 3 different bios versions and they all had the same error. There must be somethingndefect, or I'm doing something completely wrong.

    And I didn't destroy my RAM, like I said earlier. It survived and was just not seated properly.
  15. Still not working
  16. Best answer
    Budgetguy said:
    I think this is the root of the problem because in the BIOS info it says: "maximum turbo ratio 16", even though I selected 36. So those settings are not applied for some reason I think.

    Have you tried leaving core clocks and multipliers on full auto? That's technically the only mode supported by non-K CPUs. If you have set multipliers on manual, the chip might be rejecting manual settings and using the safe default instead.
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